• synonyms


[sing-kuh-pey-tid, sin-]
See more synonyms for syncopated on Thesaurus.com
  1. marked by syncopation: syncopated rhythm.
  2. cut short; abbreviated.
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Origin of syncopated

1655–65; < Late Latin syncopāt(us) (see syncopate) + -ed2
Related formsun·syn·co·pat·ed, adjective


[sing-kuh-peyt, sin-]
verb (used with object), syn·co·pat·ed, syn·co·pat·ing.
  1. Music.
    1. to place (the accents) on beats that are normally unaccented.
    2. to treat (a passage, piece, etc.) in this way.
  2. Grammar. to contract (a word) by omitting one or more sounds from the middle, as in reducing Gloucester to Gloster.
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Origin of syncopate

First recorded in 1595–1605, syncopate is from the Medieval Latin word syncopātus (past participle of syncopāre to shorten by syncope). See syncope, -ate1
Related formssyn·co·pa·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

abbreviate, shorten, restrict, wrap, cram, constrict, squeeze, shrink, decline, consume, reduce, decrease, narrow, weaken, consolidate, wedge, cramp, crowd, abridge, abstract

Examples from the Web for syncopated

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The "time-step" and "break" must be perfectly timed to the syncopated rhythm.

  • He is about to give us something American: to sing and dance to syncopated melody.

    Nights in London

    Thomas Burke

  • If you can set his work to syncopated time he seems never to tire of it.

    The Railroad Problem

    Edward Hungerford

  • Upstairs a piano took up the refrain in a thin, syncopated echo.

    Stover at Yale

    Owen Johnson

  • Every voice was independent, and syncopated as were the rhythms.

    Franz Liszt

    James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for syncopated


verb (tr)
  1. music to modify or treat (a beat, rhythm, note, etc) by syncopation
  2. to shorten (a word) by omitting sounds or letters from the middle
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Derived Formssyncopator, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Medieval Latin syncopāre to omit a letter or syllable, from Late Latin syncopa syncope
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for syncopated



c.1600, from Late Latin syncopatus, past participle of syncopare "to shorten," also "to faint away, to swoon," from Late Latin syncope (see syncope). Originally "to shorten words by omitting syllables or letters in the middle;" musical sense is from 1660s. Related: Syncopated; syncopating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper